Six Flags asks Jackson, NJ to legislate smoking ban

Posted Tuesday, April 17, 2007 9:18 AM | Contributed by Jeff

At the park's request, the Township Council has introduced an ordinance that would ban smoking at amusement parks. A public hearing on the measure is scheduled for next Tuesday. Great Adventure already went nearly smoke-free last year, allowing guests to light up only in 15 designated areas, park President Mark Kane said. This year, park employees began strictly enforcing the no-smoking policy by ejecting any guest who is caught smoking outside those areas, he said. The park says the ordinance would give them a legal basis for the ejections.

Read more from Asbury Park Press.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007 9:19 AM
Jeff's avatar 75 ejections so far... good for them. I wish everyone who enforced this kind of policy would, well, enforce it.
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Tuesday, April 17, 2007 9:35 AM
I don't think people deserve to be ejected for smoking in a non-designated area. Although there are signs throughout the park, many people would not be expecting an amuesment park to be smoke-free, so they wouldn't notice them. I do not have a problem with smoking in a designated area, I think it's a good idea to increase the family atmosphere of the park, but I think ejecting people caught with a cigarette is too far.

I think that the no-smoking policy should be up to the park to decide. Having a legal backing to this seems to me to be going too far. If the park wants to escort people out for smoking, that's up to them. I disagree with it, and think that it is making too big of a deal out of something trivial. However, legal backing seems to be going too far.

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Tuesday, April 17, 2007 9:59 AM
Wouldn't the fact that the park is private property give them the right to control or ban smoking? Are they just looking for cover from lawsuits?

I support private business owners right to decide if smoking is permitted or not on their property. I do not support government entities making that decision for everyone.

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Tuesday, April 17, 2007 10:00 AM
As a non-smoker, I don't see it as trivial. I HATE having to smell second hand smoke. People light up all the time in line for TTD or Millenium Force at Cedar Point, then try to cover it up when a park policeman shows up. They KNOW they're doing something wrong...but like most people, don't really care, cause the world was made for them.

If you can't take on the responsibility of following the rules, then legislation gets passed. Isn't that the way things work in the US these days?

I'd agree with you about the legislation being overkill...IF people followed rules.

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Tuesday, April 17, 2007 10:09 AM
CoastersNSich's avatar "75 ejections so far... good for them. I wish everyone who enforced this kind of policy would, well, enforce it."

Hopefully this will include the parks in Ohio.

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Tuesday, April 17, 2007 11:03 AM
Getting cancer from second hand smoke is not TRIVIAL. What if I was at your house Mike blowin' smoke all over you and yours? You would probably throw me out. Now think of all the folks who have to work around this second hand smoke caused by A**holes who can't read signs or use the specially designed smoking areas created for THEM. This is a theme park were talking about. Not a bar. If you can't follow the rules then you should be ejected.
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Tuesday, April 17, 2007 11:53 AM
^ I agree. Smoking out of a non-smoking area is not trivial. If you want to harm your body with smoking, then that's your choice. But at least the park was nice enought to create smoking areas for smokers and not ban them altogether. People have no right to harm the health of those around them with smoking.

I'm glad that the park is finally enforcing the rules. I wish they would do this more with line jumpers, as well, but that's more trivial than smoking, since it doesn't really affect your health the way that second-hand smoke does.

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Tuesday, April 17, 2007 11:55 AM
rollergator's avatar I wonder how many were ejected from GAdv for line-jumping?

Seriously, someone is smoking outside the designated area. Your park security reminds them they need to refrain from smoking until they are in a designated area. They comply, everyone's happy. They argue, you show them the *other* side of the gate. Seems simple to me...maybe too simple?

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Tuesday, April 17, 2007 12:11 PM
Jeff's avatar

I think that the no-smoking policy should be up to the park to decide.
Did you read the article? It already is up to them and it's the choice they've made. They want the legal backing because it helps protect them from lawsuits (which would be silly anyway because it's private property and they can do whatever they want).
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Tuesday, April 17, 2007 12:15 PM
I was in line for Nitro on 4/6 and a 16yr old girl was smoking so I waved to security and told him. He walked over to her and told her there was no smoking in the line and told her to go with him. She had the nerve to say I didn't know and the security guard said what does the sign behind you say. Right behind her on the fence in the que was a no smoking sign (I had to laugh). Nitro was my last ride that day so when I was leaving I saw the girl standing outside the gate waiting for her friends. I like parks to enforce there rules its the only way to make them work. If I see some breaking them I have no problem telling security and I will definitely say something to cutters because they are worse. I am a smoker but I don't even bring them into the park anymore.*** This post was edited by Ajrides 4/17/2007 12:16:40 PM ***
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Tuesday, April 17, 2007 12:21 PM
Two things to remember.

First off, Six Flags wants to promote a family image. Second hand smoke can be especially harmful to young children, much more so than adults. So, it is in their own family interest to be stricter in their enforcement of this policy.

Second, in terms of the need for an ordinance. This is NJ, the state that does not allow you to pump your own gasoline. The park may (rightfully so) feel that it needs an ordinance to stand behind its own policies without the fear of a lawsuit from a park patron. It's possible that someone could claim that smoking is addictive and the park is somehow in violation of the ADA act. (Don't laugh... Stranger lawsuits have been filed... and won...)

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Tuesday, April 17, 2007 12:32 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar Nothing riles up the troops like a good 'evils of smoking' debate. :)
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Tuesday, April 17, 2007 12:37 PM
I don't see why they need the law. They seem to be doing all right without it.
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Tuesday, April 17, 2007 12:43 PM
1EyedJack's avatar First of all, WAY TO GO SIX FLAGS!!! I am still not happy with the mess you created in Aurora, but what I just read is starting to make me recant some of the negatives things I have said about your company. Now if you enforce this in ALL your parks, I might have to go out of my way, and get another season pass again. I can't imagine the enforcement working too good in the heart of tobacco growing country (Kentucky). Hell, they are chewing tobacco down there before they can talk. Jerse got the ball rolling. Lets get it going at Kentucky Kingdom and the rest of the parks in the chain.
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Tuesday, April 17, 2007 2:21 PM
I say watch what you wish for because you might get it. Go running to the government to enforce one of your own rules, and what's to stop them from coming back again and again telling you how they think you should run your business and what you can and can't do on your own property.

Sure, if you're against smoking, it sounds great to bring the state in to help ban smoking. What about the next ordinance the township passes? What if it's a noise ordinance? Or a light pollution ordinance (don't laugh, they have those out there)? What if it's a huge amusement tax? How about a ban on fats and junk food? Or they pass a law that minimum hourly wage in the township is $15.00 (and guess who pays for the increased labor costs)? Then what will you be saying?

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Tuesday, April 17, 2007 3:34 PM
On the money Bear. It sounds like an invitation for the local government to regulate their business. Must be the libertarian in me.
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Tuesday, April 17, 2007 4:04 PM
Jeff: Yeah it's private property and thus not lawsuit should be able to hold up. But that doesnt mean that they wont still have to go to a judge to have the suit thrown out. That's a time/expense that wouldnt even be needed if they had the shield of a law.

RGB: I so totally agree. Keep the government out of (relatively) minor niggles like this. You may like the laws passed today, but believe me, tomorrow, *you* (SFI) will be in the cross-hairs.

In general, I'm not a big fan of first-offense ejections. I'd rather see them do something like take them to Guest Services, take their picture and dismiss them with a warning. Caught a 2nd time? BOOM! Yer outta here!
not that I smoke anyway....

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Tuesday, April 17, 2007 4:04 PM
Can I get an ordinance against bouncing basketballs in parks? PLEASE. I would so LOVE for people to get ejected from parks for that.

I hear Bonfante has already gone smoke free.

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Tuesday, April 17, 2007 4:51 PM
I guess it's the difference in respectful people and non.

At HW in most cases you will see us smokers vollentaraly visit the smokers pavilions and not carelessly and blatantly violate the rule. Just the same as we used the provided ashtrays prior to the new rule.

A rule or a law does nothing without enforcement and whats worse is where drastic measures have to be taken to enforce it.

Chuck, who just don't see minnimum wage workers povoking potentially violent situations.

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